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Dmitry Demin

SFU Student Undergraduate
Applied Sciences › Mechatronic Systems Engineering | All Faculties

Growing and assuming various roles within the company not only provided me with unexpected but valuable experiences, for which I am immensely grateful, but also enabled significant learning opportunities.
Experience Details
Semester
Fall
Spring
Summer
Year
2022
2023
Introduction + Preparation

I had the opportunity to work at Algo Communications in various roles, beginning as an Electro-mechanical Assembler & Tester, progressing to Team Lead & Senior Tester with supervisory responsibilities, and eventually transitioning into the role of Software Developer. These experiences provided me with valuable insights into the company's operations, culture, and the people who contribute to its success.

Previous Experience

Prior to these experiences, I had not undertaken any co-op positions, and the work I had done was unrelated to my major. Consequently, I approached my first co-op at Algo with a fresh perspective and eagerness to work within a field of with my studies.

Preparation Tips for Future Students

If you're embarking on your first co-op as an assembler-tester and are curious about Algo's application process, rest assured that they recognize the likelihood of this being your initial venture into seeking a professional internship. They are committed to teaching you everything you need to know, so there's no need to stress during your interview. Additionally, Algo provides opportunities for students to learn by spending some time working alongside professionals within the company. This approach allows students to gain insights into software, engineering, and repair aspects of the business.

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

I began my journey at Algo as an Electro-Mechanical Assembler/Tester on the production floor. The orientation and initial weeks followed a typical structure, where a manager or supervisor guided me through the facility. Once assigned a task, they provided thorough training, fostering an environment where questions and requests for assistance were not only encouraged but welcomed. The supportive atmosphere extended throughout the team, with everyone readily offering help or guiding me to the most knowledgeable person for my specific situation. The collective expertise of the team proved invaluable, especially in understanding the intricacies of the manufacturing process.

Day to Day

On a day-to-day basis, your tasks vary depending on the product demands, leading to a rotation in the responsibilities you handle.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Initially, after reading the job description I had a misunderstanding about one part of the job. I saw that the job involved programming, which I was excited for, because I like coding and learning new things in programming in my free time. However, during the my first days at work, I discovered that the programming involved was primarily focused on uploading firmware onto PCBs, not the coding I had anticipated.

While this initial mismatch between my expectations and reality left me briefly disappointed, my curious nature prompted me to explore further. Noticing room for improvement in an internal proprietary program, I took the initiative to inquire about the possibility of enhancing it. Although faced with understandable limitations such as NDA constraints and security concerns, I persisted in finding a way to apply my coding skills and make best use of my time. (with the permission and guidances of my manager acknowledging certain limitations)

Determined to make the most of the opportunity, I applied myself diligently, identifying ways to enhance existing processes with my programming skills. During brief downtimes at work, I worked on automating tasks and collaborated with colleagues to identify areas for improvement. Witnessing the practical impact of my work and its positive reception among my peers fueled my motivation.

This curiosity and initiative led me down an unexpected path, resulting in the automation of key production processes and opening up new career opportunities. Taking on the Team Lead role, a position I hadn't initially considered, taught me valuable supervisory skills and the importance of being prepared for unforeseen challenges. It also underscored the significance of quick thinking in the face of unexpected situations.

Ultimately, my achievements paved the way for my dream position that I wanted during my first co-op semester—working as a Software Engineer alongside exceptional individuals in the firmware, software, and engineering domains. This experience exceeded my expectations, teaching me more than I had anticipated and reinforcing the value of being open to unexpected opportunities and continual growth.

Social and Extracurricular Activities

Furthermore, Algo fosters a strong sense of culture through various events, including monthly birthday celebrations, farewell dinners for long-time employees, and Town Halls where multiple team members present the current state of the business. These events provide valuable insights into how your contributions impact the company's growth, and the occasional spontaneous gatherings add a cheerful and motivational touch.

Wrap Up

Algo Communication Products has an amazing team of individuals across all departments who are happy to answer your questions and to help if needed. Through dedicated efforts, I applied myself to bring tangible value to the company, which opened doors for working within multiple roles across departments. This journey has not only been professionally rewarding but has also provided me with exciting and enriching learning experiences along the way.

Reflection & Tips
Advice for Future Students

You can always make the best of the opportunities you're given. Pursuing that sometimes can lead you to unexpected and exciting new roads that you never thought you'd partake in. They can even lead you to exactly where you aimed to arrive.

Author

Dmitry Demin

SFU Student Undergraduate
Applied Sciences › Mechatronic Systems Engineering | All Faculties
visibility  202
Mar 12, 2024